ST. LOUIS – Whitey Herzog succeeded Jack McKeon as manager of the Kansas City Royals in 1975 and gave Jim Riggleman his first big-league coaching job with the Cardinals in 1989. McKeon and Riggleman have sort of passed in the night as big-league managers in the last week and Herzog, rarely at a loss for opinions, had thoughts on both.
First, on Riggleman’s resignation at Washington on Thursday:
“I was shocked,” Herzog said. “Surprised the hell out of me. … He probably led the major leagues in interim managerships. But the times he was fired before, he never complained. I never heard him say anything bad about anybody other than when he said (Washington president Stan) Kasten tried to low-ball him on salary and wanted to pay him less than coaches make.”
Herzog said he wasn’t that surprised that Florida reached out to McKeon because he is such a popular figure after guiding the Marlins to the 2003 world title. “But, if they think he’s going to be a miracle worker … that’s not going to happen,” Herzog said.